The iconic vampire hunter Van Helsing will be returning to cinemas, but this time in a darker and harder-edged film from an exciting creative team.
Universal is continuing to leverage its legacy stable of monster characters following the success of The Invisible Man early this year. What’s more, the unanimous praise heaped upon the bold reimagining of the H.G. Wells novel seems to have emboldened the studio itself as its continues to add increasingly interesting Universal Monsters projects to its slate.
Director of The Invisible Man, Leigh Whannell, is already teaming up with Ryan Gosling next, to tackle The Wolfman, whilst last week it was announced that Phil Lord and Chris Miller – the producers of the LEGO and Jump Street movies, not to mention 2018’s superb Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – will be producing a comedy-edged take on a Universal Monsters character, with Channing Tatum.
Now, the studio has announced another surprisingly bold project.
Van Helsing, the legendary monster-hunting character, who last got his own movie in 2004 when he was played by Hugh Jackman, is being resurrected.
However, while that particular family-friendly version was somewhat disappointing, failing to ignite the expected sequel, the upcoming reboot of the character will be an R-rated, horror-focused thriller from Julius Avery. He’s the director of the terrific horror-tinged, genre-bending war flick, Overlord.
The project’s horrors credentials are boosted by the presence of James Wan as producer, a creative presence who has been behind some of the most inventive horror films of the past two decades.
Universal is keeping story details firmly under wraps for now, but following the early failure of its Marvel-derived Dark Universe project, it’s heartening to see the studio invest in a slew of more imaginative projects. Especially ones with age ratings that allow for the horror elements these characters possess to be explored.
Avery has recently wrapped production on the MGM thriller Samaritan, starring Sylvester Stallone. He is now re-drafting the script for the as-yet untitled Van Helsing movie, which was first penned by Eric Pearson (who also wrote Marvel’s upcoming Black Widow).
More as we hear it.
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